Radiogenic heat production variability of some common lithological groups and its significance to lithospheric thermal modeling

M. Vilà*, M. Fernández, I. Jiménez-Munt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

106 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Determining the temperature distribution within the lithosphere requires the knowledge of the radiogenic heat production (RHP) distribution within the crust and the lithospheric mantle. RHP of crustal rocks varies considerably at different scales as a result of the petrogenetic processes responsible for their formation and therefore RHP depends on the considered lithologies. In this work we address RHP variability of some common lithological groups from a compilation of a total of 2188 representative U, Th and K concentrations of different worldwide rock types derived from 102 published studies. To optimize the use of the generated RHP database we have classified and renamed the rock-type denominations of the original works following a petrologic classification scheme with a hierarchical structure. The RHP data of each lithological group is presented in cumulative distribution plots, and we report a table with the mean, the standard deviation, the minimum and maximum values, and the significant percentiles of these lithological groups. We discuss the reported RHP distribution for the different igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic lithological groups from a petrogenetic viewpoint and give some useful guidelines to assign RHP values to lithospheric thermal modeling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-164
Number of pages13
JournalTectonophysics
Volume490
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Continental crust
  • Geothermal modeling
  • Heat flow
  • Lithosphere
  • Radiogenic heat production

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